The 380,000 federal employees on furlough includes the Alcohol and Tabacco Tax and Trade Bureau, known colloquially as the TTB, part of the Treasury Department. This means that no new brewer certificates are being issued and no new label approvals are happening. So there are new breweries that are held up from opening and existing breweries are held up from putting new beers on the packaged beer market. All the while, like all of us with any type of payroll deduction are still making our contributions to the Federal Government. There has been some coverage of this in the media, what follows is a series of links to stories about it.
So there are new breweries who are sitting in limbo waiting for one of the many authorizations to open, there are existing breweries that have a planned expansion sitting in limbo, and there are existing breweries who cannot get label approval for beers they intended to put in the market, but aren’t able to do so. Some of the people affected by this are my friends. All of these people affected by this are having to figure things out on the fly because politicians are unwilling to end a shutdown which is nothing more than a manufactured problem – or as I called it when I taught middle school – drama for the sake of drama.